About Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado

Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado helps academically motivated high school and college students rise above disadvantaged backgrounds to earn a high school diploma, entry into college, and a college degree through mentoring, tutoring, and scholarship.

Our goal is to support young people who are physically, emotionally and academically prepared for post-secondary education and a productive life. By helping these students earn both their high school and college degree, we are effectively breaking the cycle of poverty. BHGH of Colorado utilizes the following elements to achieve our mission:

  • Academic excellence
  • Service and community engagement
  • Family-like settings to cultivate youth empowerment
  • Long-term and comprehensive programming
  • Faith-based values
  • Voluntary participant commitment
Boys Hope Girls Hope firmly believes that children have the power to overcome adversity, realize their potential, and help transform our world. Children create these successes when we remove obstacles, support and believe in them, and provide environments and opportunities that build on their strengths.

Boys Hope Girls Hope sees something special in me, something that I never saw in myself. Boys Hope Girls Hope has challenged me to do things that I had never thought I could do. Boys Hope Girls Hope has been an inspiration to me and my family.

Fernando, BHGH Collegian

Our Mission

To nurture and guide motivated young people in need to become well-educated, career-ready men and women for others.

Our Vision

We believe in opportunity, education and inclusion for every young person.

Our Local Impact

Since 1993, BHGH of Colorado has helped scholars overcome disadvantaged backgrounds through scholarship. BHGH of Colorado serves youth who want to go to college and create successful futures for themselves. Our scholars join our program to receive support on their journey to college and beyond. They seek the academic resources, extracurricular opportunities, and mentor relationships we provide.

BHGH of Colorado's History









BHGH of Founded in St. Louis

Fr. Paul Sheridan, S.J. founded Boys Hope Girls Hope in St. Louis, Missouri.


BHGH of Colorado Founded

Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado was established in 1993 with the Boys Hope Residential Home


Girls Hope Home Opened

Just 2 blocks away from the Boys Hope Home, the Girls Hope home opened its doors to serve 5 girls in need.


Academy Program Opened

The non-residential Academy Program was launched at Aurora Central High School for the freshman and sophomore classes.


First Academy Class Graduates from Aurora Central High School

9 scholars from the first BHGH Colorado Academy class graduated from Aurora Central High School. All 9 are still in college today.


First Girls Hope Scholars Graduate College

Alexis and Aaliyah, the first Girls Hope scholars graduated from college! Alexis attended Fort Lewis College and Aaliyah graduated from the University of North Texas.


Transition To Focus On Academy Program Exclusively

To serve more children-in-need, Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado focuses exclusively on our Academy and Collegian Programs.


Our Board of Directors and staff collaborate to ensure mission fidelity, financial stewardship and transparency. This team of professionals is committed to continuous learning, effective programming and improvement through impact evaluation and innovation.

Mary Frances Tharp

Executive Director

Laura Conti

Program Director

Polly Lestikow

Board Chair


Polly Lestikow, Chair
Closet Factory

Jake Zambrano, Vice Chair
76 Group

Christian O'Dwyer, Treasurer

Scott Cromie, Past Board Chair
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

Mary Frances Tharp, Secretary
Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado

Bob Bowman
Husch Blackwell

David Card
Regis Jesuit High School

Sean Casper
Extraction Oil & Gas

Michelle Galuszka
Escuela de Guadalupe School

Cindy Garrett
West Monroe Partners

Kenneth Goebel
West Monroe Partners

Fr. Jim Goeke, S. J.
Regis Jesuit High School

Laurel Hammer

Frank Jedlicka

John Newland
Hercules Industries

Kenneth Stable
Charles Schwab

Robert Strauss
Raytheon, Retired

Joanna Vosburg
UMB Bank


Scot Anderson

Susan Bailey

Janet Cooper

Jack Corrigan

Rob Crosby

Dr. Robert Fante

Mark Kiniry

Chuck Latham

Mary Ann Littler

Dr. Charles Mateskon

Conor McCallin

Patrick McCarthy

Deborah S. O'Dwyer

Ann Rice

John & Angela Schmidt

Jo Swanson, Ph.D.

Kent Swanson

Stephen Tierney

Adam Truitt


Rhett Cross

Katie Crump

Allison Egan

Patrick Egan

Zach Hynek

Melinda McCluskey

Tea Merdanovic

Lisa Peters

Phil Stidham

Joanna Vosburg

Nicole Ruybal

The Need We Address

Prior to joining our program, our scholars’ face environmental barriers that make it difficult to concentrate on achieving their goals. The relationship between educational failure and poverty creates a vicious cycle that affects too many children in our communities and negatively impacts our entire society.

  • Twenty-one percent of children in the US live in poverty (Census Bureau, 2014)
  • Children born into poverty are six times more likely to drop out of school (Cities in Crisis, 2008).
  • The longer a child lives in poverty, the lower their overall level of academic achievement (Guo and Harris, 2000).
  • Children from families in the highest income quartile are 8 times as likely to earn a college degree that those from the lowest income quartile (Pell Institute and Penn Ahead, 2015).
  • In 1980, college graduates earned 29% more than those without. By 2007, that gap grew to 66% (Baum & Ma, 2007).
  • The costs to United States society are significant in terms of economic productivity, tax revenue, health care over-utilization, parental attention to children’s educational development, civic engagement, and volunteerism (Baum & Ma, 2007).
  • According to CEOs for Cities, every one percentage point increase in adult four-year college degree attainment adds an additional $763 to per capita income per year (One Student at a Time, 2013).
  • Cohen and Piquero (2009) monetized the cost to society over the course of a “negative outcome” child’s lifetime as follows: High School Dropout = $390,000 - $580,000, Plus Heavy Drug User = $846,000 – $1.1 Million, Plus Career Criminal = $3.2 - $5.8 Million.

Invest in the success of our scholars!